Weekly Top 5 Papers – August 28, 2018

1. Fanning the Flames of Hate: Social Media and Hate Crime by Karsten Müller (University of Warwick – Warwick Business School ), and Carlo Schwarz (University of Warwick)

There is an increasing worry that social media may not always have strictly positive effects on society. As empirical researchers, it was striking to us just how little of the debate was actually based on data.

 In this paper, we document that hate crimes against refugees in Germany disproportionally increase in areas with high social media usage at times we observes spikes in anti-refugee sentiment on social media. However, this correlation alone does not tell us much about causality. We thus develop a methodology based on local internet outages and disruptions of Facebook access.

 As it turns out, the relationship between hate crimes and social media exposure to anti-refugee sentiment disappears in weeks when such outages occur. We interpret this as first suggestive evidence that social media may have a propagating effect on violent incidents in an environment where tensions are already high.  –Karsten Müller


2. What You Should Know About Megaprojects and Why: An Overview by Bent Flyvbjerg (University of Oxford – Said Business School)

I wrote this paper to give an overview of the emerging academic field of megaproject management. I assumed there was a need for such a paper, but I am surprised how strong and positive the reactions have been. First, the paper won the Project Management Journal and Project Management Institute Paper of the Year Award. Second, it was listed in the 1% of highly cited papers in the ESI (the statistical platform under WOS), “indicating the rapid growth and strong potential of research in megaproject management,” according to a bibliometric study, which also singled out the paper as playing a “vital role” in the scholarly development of the field. Third, the paper became the publication with the most citations in the field of economics and management. And now, fourth, the honor of being an SSRN Weekly Top 5 Paper.

The paper is just a small, although central, part of a concerted effort by its author to help develop and consolidate the field of megaproject management in the academy. Other parts of the effort have been the publication of: (a) The Oxford Handbook of Megaproject Management, by Oxford University Press, with 25 up-to-date chapters authored by 43 leading scholars (http://bit.ly/2bctWZt); (b) the two-volume, 71-chapter Megaproject Planning and Management: Essential Readings, by Elgar, with the most important historical texts (http://bit.ly/2EwJBLL); and (c) a special issue of the International Journal of Project Management on classics in megaproject management, with five original papers addressing the question of what classic academic texts might be in megaproject management (http://bit.ly/2GcflaY). The hope is that, together with these publications, the paper on SSRN’s Weekly Top 5 may help identify and develop the best of what is worth reading in megaproject management. –Bent Flyvbjerg


3. Concealed Carry Permit Holders Across the United States: 2018 by John R. Lott (Crime Prevention Research Center)


4. ‘I’ve Got Nothing to Hide’ and Other Misunderstandings of Privacy by Daniel J. Solove (George Washington University Law School)


5. A Quantitative Approach to Tactical Asset Allocation by Meb Faber (Cambria Investment Management)


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